April 1, 2020
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has proposed a set of regulations last fall that would bar many middle class investors from buying mutual funds and exchange-traded funds—financial products that have been on the market for nearly three decades. Instead of creating new red tape, Chairman Clayton should abandon these proposals and give all Americans the freedom to have a bite at the next Apple.
March 27, 2020
This week, Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee unveiled their public policy response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While framed as a goodwill attempt at helping struggling Americans, the partisan legislation contains a number of controversial provisions that have no place in an emergency, short-term relief package.
March 23, 2020
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) introduced legislation aimed at tackling the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Tlaib’s bill would give every single person in America a $2,000 preloaded debit card that would refill with $1,000 every month until one year after the end of the crisis. Though well-meaning, her legislation is legally dubious and would drive the economy toward hyperinflation.
March 20, 2020
Restaurants are among the hardest—if not the hardest—hit of industries impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Like other industries, restaurants are lobbying Congress and state legislatures for assistance. The proposals of the National Restaurant Association have some healthy policy morsels that will benefit all, but some other items that will give restaurant consumers severe indigestion.
March 13, 2020
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week over the constitutionality of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and whether, as currently structured, it is too far removed from executive oversight. The outcome of this case has become increasingly important given the Bureau’s continuous efforts to skirt legal accountability and harass businesses into near bankruptcy.
March 6, 2020
CEI recently signed on to a coalition letter encouraging the Securities and Exchange Commission to abandon its plans to further regulate certain financial products and impose additional sales-practice rules between broker-dealers and investment advisors and their clients. These proposed rules would impose an intrusive and burdensome regulatory regime on financial markets and severely limit the ability of everyday investors to freely purchase or sell some publicly traded securities.
February 25, 2020
Last October, the House passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act to provide safe harbor for banks and credit unions doing business with legal cannabis businesses. Following its passage, Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo issued a recommendation to merge language from the Financial Institution Consumer Protection Act—a proposed measure that would prevent regulators from ordering depository institutions to terminate the accounts of legal businesses they disapprove of—into the SAFE Banking Act. This would resolve a threat posed to businesses seen as “high risk” by agency bureaucrats.
February 13, 2020
American Banker ran a piece last week on a proposed law to impose an interest rate cap on small-dollar loans. While the hearing revealed the inner-party conflict over the legislation, the divide was further demonstrated by Democratic witnesses who contradicted their written testimony in support of a rate cap by seeming to question the merits of such a measure.
February 12, 2020
The House Financial Services Committee held a hearing last week on small-dollar lending and proposed legislation that would limit the interest rates on such loans. Many lawmakers are concerned that “payday and car-title loans can be harmful to consumers.” While it’s good to focus on improving the lives of financially strapped consumers, much of the hearing ignored basic economics and how the proposed interest rate caps would further harm poor consumers by likely shutting them out of access to legal credit entirely.
January 27, 2020
After almost a decade of ambiguity, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has finally offered some clarity to its definition of what constitutes an “abusive” practice by lending institutions like banks and credit unions.